St. Patrick's Church was opened on March 17th, 1847 to serve the needs of the Irish immigrants who had come to Montreal in great numbers due to the famine and other troubles in Ireland.
The church was built in the Gothic Revival style on a promontory overlooking the City of Montreal. Its spire could be seen by all. Over the years the city grew north, east and west with the result that the church is now surrounded by modern-day Montreal.
St. Patrick's Church was raised to the status of Minor Basilica by His Holiness, Pope John-Paul II in 1989 because of its historical importance as the mother church of the English-speaking Catholics of greater Montreal. The Basilica has been designated an Historical Monument by the Government of Quebec, and in 1996 Saint Patrick's was named a National Historic Site of Canada.